Enjoy the Great Outdoors and Earn your Jr Ranger Patch!
Girl Scouts is continuing to partner with the National Park Service and the “Girl Scout Ranger Program,” a program connecting girls with National Park Service sites throughout the United States. Through this program, girls are invited to play outdoors, learn about national parks and why they're preserved, and develop essential leadership skills. Even better, girls have the opportunity to earn patches, complete journeys, and achieve Take Action and Gold Award projects!
There are 5 easy steps to earn your ranger patch.
How to earn your Ranger patch thru 5 simple steps:
- Choose a National Park Service site
Visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm Choose a national park, a monument, or any of 417 sites protected by the National Park Service. Explore nature, learn the history and read the stories to discover why it is important to preserve your park.
- Imagine Yourself in a National Park
Brainstorm activities that you might want to experience at a national park. Consider working outside with a geologist or inside identifying fossils. Maybe wildfire restoration, building a bridge, or a night sky project interests you.
- Contact the park and make a plan
Call the park (the phone number is on the park’s website under Contact Us). Identify yourself as a Girl Scout. Ask if there is someone who works with the Girl Scout Ranger program or a volunteer coordinator. Express your ideas to the coordinator. Together, plan a project to help the park and fulfill your goals.
- Go to the park and Have Fun!
If your park does not have a volunteer program or is too far away to visit, create a Take Action Project.
- Share the experience
Share your best shots on Instagram and Twitter using #FindYourPark and #NPS101 (don't forget to tag @GirlScouts!) and invite your entire troop to do the same!
Can this program contribute toward earning the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is not a part of the qualifications for the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver or Gold Award. However experiences you gain from participating in the Girl Scout Ranger program may contribute toward your progress in earning the award. Visit the Girl Scout award webpage for more information on the criteria for earning the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
Why five hours for a certificate and ten hours for a patch?
Girls scouts are awarded a program certificate upon completion of set hour requirements for the program (5 hours for a certificate, 10 hours for the Girl Scout Ranger patch). We strongly believe that with these set hour requirements, girls will come away with not just a certificate or patch, but the reward of discovery, sense of awareness and hopefully an interest in continuing their experiences at national parks that will build from awareness to knowledge, from interest and skills to participation, and ultimately to conservation as a value and habit, in addition to achieving Girl Scout leadership outcomes. The hour requirement can be met through a series of park experiences, so the program’s flexible participation design ensures that we afford Girl Scouts with the opportunity to have a continuum of diverse park experiences that foster long-term engagement with the NPS and the outdoors.
How did this program come about?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is a collaboration between the GSUSA and the NPS under the umbrella Linking Girls to the Land program. It is an expansion of the former Resource Stewardship Girl Scout Ranger Program.
As the nation and the world are increasingly turning to technology, some believe this leads to a decrease in children participating in outdoor activities. The Girl Scout Ranger program supports the NPS goal of introducing youth to the outdoors. The experience provides girls the opportunity to expand their horizons, develop new ideas, new perspectives, and gain an increased appreciation for natural and cultural resource stewardship. The Girl Scout Ranger program is also a great opportunity for girls to join together, have fun, and make a difference!
Why should I be engaged in this program?
The Girl Scout Ranger program is exciting and fun! You can have fun in the outdoors and at the same time discover something new about yourself and your surroundings. Consider engaging girls in a journey or other Girl Scout program activity in a park and earn hours toward the certificate or patch. There is a project or activity for every grade level. When girls work with the park, projects can be catered towards the girls’ interests and goals. There are many different types of career opportunities with the National Park Service like biology, firefighting, education and interpretation that you could explore! It is so important and very rewarding for you to get outside, take in some fresh air, see wildlife, discover culture, and learn your role in protecting our environment.
Who gives me my Jr Ranger Patch and/or certificate?
The patches and certificates are given to you directly from the National Park that you work with.